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Week 22 Roundup: Two first-half goals seal three points for Torino in Sardinia

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Cagliari 1-2 Torino

Strikes from Duvan Zapata and Samuele Ricci prove to be enough, as Torino weathers a late Cagliari storm to hold on for victory. Two first-half strikes by ex-Atalanta hitman Duvan Zapata and Samuele Ricci earn three hard-fought points for Il Toro on the Road at Cagliari.

Following the match-day 22 results, Torino now find themselves just three points outside Serie A’s Champions League places heading into February. The defeat leaves Cagliari in the drop zone knowing three points would have lifted them to 15th place.

Torino came into this match without a win against Gli Isolani in their last three meetings. This defeat was Claudio Ranieri’s side’s third in their last five outings in Serie A. There were shots galore in this game with 41 shots taken in the ninety minutes, with a 25-16 split in favour of the hosts.

I Granata got off to a fast start when in the 23rd minute good work from Inter loanee Raoul Bellanova on the right-hand side led to a driven cross which was met by Duvan Zapata at the front post who pushed the ball into the hosts net to take the lead.

The Rossoblu had their first chance in the 28th minute when former Napoli forward Andrea Petagna laid off the on-rushing Jakob Jankto whose effort was easily saved by Torino stopper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.

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Heading into the 40th minute, Zapata powerfully drove through the Cagliari defence before unleashing a strike which was well saved by Scuffet in between the Cagliari sticks.

On the stroke of halftime, Torino scored a second, Samuele Ricci picked up the ball on the lefthand side beating his man before cutting in on his right foot and lashing the ball beyond the helpless Scuffet.

After 52 minutes, Raoul Bellanova collected the ball on the right of the pitch, around 25 yards out from the goal. He then shifted the ball out of his feet before sending his low drive just wide of the far post.

On the hour mark, veteran striker Leonardo Pavoletti found himself with space in the Torino box however after over-stretching for a header he guided the ball comfortably into the hands of Milinkovic-Savic.

Bellanova again worked space on the right wing sending a cross into the host’s box, an air shot from Sanabria meant the ball fell to former Newcastle man Valentino Lazaro. The Austrian then unleashed a low drive towards the Cagliari goal which was well blocked.

Cagliari eventually got their goal, in the 76th minute, Rossoblu substitute Nicolas Viola crafted space on the right before using his left foot to send a curling effort into the far corner of the visitor’s goal.

Cagliari continued to push for an equalising goal going into the latter stages of the game.

In the 95th minute, the hosts were almost rewarded for their efforts when a corner fell to the feet of Lapadula who sent an effort goalwards which was cleared off the line by Torino defender Sazonov. The final whistle was then blown by the referee. “


Serie A Roundup

Inter win away in Florence to head back to the summit, whilst Juventus stutters at home to Empoli.

Inter Milan head back to the top of Serie A with a game in hand over Juventus with the sides set to meet at the San Siro on Sunday night in the Derby d’Italia.

After winning the Super Cup on Monday in Riyadh, Inter continued their winning form with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Fiorentina.

After a busy few weeks for the Nerazzurri and despite the absence of midfield pair Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu Inter was able to secure all three points on Sunday.

Goal-scoring machine Lautaro Martinez headed Inter in front from a corner and Yann Sommer saved a second-half penalty as Inter held on to the points.

Whilst on Saturday in Turin a red card for Polish forward Arkadiusz Milik meant Juventus could only muster a 1-1 draw at Home to 19th-placed Empoli.

A strike by an in-form forward Vlahovic was not enough to secure three points, as Baldanzi equalised for Empoli in the 70th minute.

Meanwhile, at the San Siro, Milan was held to a 2-2 draw by Thiago Motta’s Bologna side. Two Reuben Loftus-Cheek goals were not enough as a last-minute Riccardo Orsolini penalty meant the visitors picked up a hard-earned point.

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First-half goals from Aleksey Miranchuk and Gianluca Scamacca pushed Atalanta into the top four after a 2-0 win over struggling Udinese.

Danielle De Rossi got his second win in as many games as Roma boss on Monday night as they overcame bottom side Salernitana. Goals for Paulo Dybala and Lorenzo Pellegrini helped the Giallorossi to all three points on the road.

Lazio and Napoli played out a goalless draw in Rome as both sides aim to get back into the European places.

In Sardinia, first-half strikes from Duvan Zapata and Samuele Ricci have Torino in contention for Europe as Il Toro is starting to look up the table after overcoming Cagliari.

Two goals in the second half helped Genoa fight back from a goal down to take all three points at home to Lecce.

Monza gained all three points at home to Sassuolo after Andrea Colpani scored his 7th goal in the league in a 1-0 victory.

Verona and Frosinone earned a point each after a 1-1 draw at the Marcantonio Bentegodi stadium.”

Jack Harding

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